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                          STATEMENT OF
                   CHAIRMAN MICHAEL K. POWELL

     Re:  Review of the Emergency Alert System, Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking

     For over a half century, the United States has had in place 
a national warning system utilizing, in part, our Nation's 
broadcast outlets.  From the CONELRAD, established in 1951 by 
President Truman during the Korean War to its replacement, the 
Emergency Broadcast System, established in 1963 by President 
Kennedy to the modern day Emergency Alert System (EAS), our 
government has sought to employ our country's media outlets as a 
mechanism for warning the American public of an emergency.

     A lot has changed since 1951.  As the primary role of EAS 
remains a national public warning system, increasingly state and 
local jurisdictions have used its capabilities to notify their 
citizens of local emergencies, including natural weather 
disasters and in saving the lives of many abducted children 
through the Amber Alert.  In addition, EAS has grown from its 
predecessor's birth on AM radio to FM radio, broadcast television 
and wireline and wireless cable systems.  Of course, the threats 
to our homeland have also changed dramatically over the last 
fifty years.  As the world around us has changed, however, the 
import of the EAS as a tool for reaching our citizenry during 
time of need remains high.

     We are proud to adopt this Notice today, as a result, in 
part, of the recommendations of the Media Security and 
Reliability Council and the Partnership for Public Warning and in 
coordination with our partners at the Department of Homeland 
Security and its component, FEMA and the Department of Commerce 
and its component, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration's National Weather Service.  

This proceeding will provide one of many vehicles by which we 
collectively explore the most effective mechanism for warning the 
American public of an emergency and the role of EAS as we move 
further into our digital future.  I commend my colleagues here at 
the Commission and our partners at DHS, FEMA, DoC and NOAA for 
their dedication to making our homeland a safer place for our